Project Management Software Provides Real-Time Updates

Pioneer Telephone

"Our primary goal was to automate a manual system that allowed remote field techs, managers and contractors to access a central database for real-time updates. Project Insight was the only solution that offered a mobile website to facilitate this."
- Department Manager of Wireless Infrastructure

Main Challenges

"Our department builds telecommunication infrastructures in the Oklahoma-Kansas region," said Pioneer Telephone's Department Manager of Wireless Infrastructure. "We manage cell tower construction to ensure they are built on time and on budget."

  • Lacked a central repository for effective project tracking
  • No way to track resource allocation
  • Lacked an automated system to allow real-time updates from multiple team members

In the past, managing operations was difficult because obtaining accurate project management updates was almost impossible. Information about projects was presented via a variety of media including paper based notebooks, Excel spreadsheets, handwritten notes and multiple conference calls. Field representatives in rural areas made updates on the fly whenever they had a few spare minutes. "There was no process or tool that allowed multiple users to make updates simultaneously," the Department Manager of Wireless Infrastructure continued. "Updates were coming from many different places and sources, and each one had to be manually entered into the system. Often we relied on multiple conference calls so managers could enter updates from the field. It was a slow, time-consuming process." "Because of this, we had one primary goal: to automate our project system. Everything else was secondary."

Why Project Insight

The key driver to selecting a project management solution was a mobile website that every cell site tech could access from multiple devices without having to use a laptop. Since updates from the remote workers in the field were the hardest to obtain, having the ability to update tasks from mobile phones would simplify the process. The easier the process, the higher the probability of getting updates on time.

  • Allowed remote resources to get real-time updates and information
  • Provided a mobile friendly website accessible from multiple device types
  • Included features other solutions did not offer
  • Offered scalability

"We're working managers, not true project managers," Pioneer Telephone's Department Manager of Wireless Infrastructure explained. "We came up from the trenches, so centralized, automated project management was new to us. We had no background in project management. We didn't even know the lingo." "Our main focus was to transition from an inefficient manual system to a highly efficient automated system. Therefore, we wanted a scalable system that allowed us to begin small and allow us to gradually grow as large as we wanted. We also wanted a vendor who could host our website." Management evaluated at least six different products through trials and demos. Not all of them offered the mobile solution the company required. Many did not have the features they wanted and still others couldn't host the website. The only solution that met all their requirements was Project Insight project management software. Pioneer Telephone implemented the cloud based project solution in Q1 of 2014.

The Results

  • Replaced the manual system for greater efficiency and productivity
  • Gives employees more control over their projects
  • Provides management with real-time reports
  • Allows managers to be proactive, not reactive
  • Permits managers to better allocate resources and set priorities

Project Insight, project management software, centralizes their projects rapidly and gives the team more control over the process. Because status reports are automatic and in real-time, the team can focus on projects, instead of writing reports. In addition, employees have more control over their day. Because they can access data in real-time, they know if they are on schedule and what they have to accomplish to complete a project on deadline. "We transitioned from being reactive to being proactive," said the Department Manager of Wireless Infrastructure. "As a result, efficiency and productivity increased. Now we can see where we encounter constant delays and find remedies and resources to keep the project on schedule. Now we can more accurately set target deadlines, better allocate resources and set priorities.

If 20 projects are presented, we know which 10 we need to work on." Although Project Insight project management software is used internally, it also permits outside contractors and vendors to access project schedules, which has dramatically reduced the number of status calls. Now management can hold the contractors and vendors to the same standards to ensure projects are completed on time, as they can login just like internal employees to update their tasks. Resource management and allocation data enable management to see where resources are spending their time. For example, management knows the amount of time spent driving to and from locations versus how much time is spent doing physical work at the site. If a project begins falling behind schedule, more resources can be allocated. Today the program's central repository provides transparency, allowing managers, resources, contractors and vendors to view what's happening in real-time, which improves collaboration. "This was all brand new to us," explained the Department Manager of Wireless Infrastructure. "There was a huge learning curve.

Initially we still wanted to call someone for information rather than enter data into the automated system. I'd say it took us a good year to learn how to use the project management software." "Fortunately, Project Insight tech support helped us make the transition. We received a lot of initial training, so the system began to make more sense. We understood why they told us to do something this way instead of that. It was hard work, but they were with us every step of the way." Another benefit is that Project Insight provides a wealth of training information resources via videos, webinars and user groups to help Pioneer Telephone learn more about the software's features. Each week there is also a two-hour open forum where they can interact directly with Project Insight experts. "Now that we've achieved our primary goal," the Department Manager of Wireless Infrastructure concluded, "We plan to learn many of the other features that will make our jobs even easier."